Tidying gardens in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth & surrounding villages.
If you would like help in the garden, whether it's for a few hours a week, a month or more, then please get in touch.
Tel: 07963 291504

Availability for 2019 to be announced soon.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Keeping Busy

January & Feb' (so far) have been hugely exciting up at the new allotment. 
Plot 38a has been transformed from a huge plot of soil to 11 raised beds.
I lost track of the number of pallets I've sawn up over the past few weeks, gawd knows how many screws I've used and let's not mention the wonky lines. Straight lines are sooooo 2018.
I say 'let's embrace the wonkiness' in 2019.

 I've also got a rickety ol' shed, left on the site by a previous owner. Twas a comedy moment as 3 of us carried it across the site, 'sedan-chair style'. It was riddled with woodlice... there were so many it could have given 'I'm a Celebrity' a run for its money. When we lifted the carpet there was a massive, grey patch...then it started moving!!!!! They were EVERYWHERE and as we lifted the shed they started falling out of the walls and ceilings.

I found some really beautiful pallets (yes, pallets can be sexy) to use as flooring and, because of the overhang, I have a posh veranda (lol).
I've also made a bench, from sexy pallets, and painted the whole lot plus put up shelving and hooks inside..but spared you the photos... I know I'm the only one who finds this exciting.
I bought a composter from Greenfingers.com which arrived flat-packed and clicked together in 2 mins.

Over on my Co-working plot next door (38b), the kale is coming to the end, as are the cabbages that I grew as spring greens. I will definitely do these again later in the year...delicious and so easy to grow. Coming up now are broad beans, red onions and garlic that I planted in the autumn.

On my own plot I've sown dwarf broad beans and onions today and in the greenhouse back home, kalettes, more broad beans, brussel sprouts and cabbage seeds.

Of course it's not all about vegetables.
This year I'm going to give Dahlias a go. Now I've grown them before for clients but not within a 50 mile radius of my house. The reason? Earwigs!!! Even typing the word makes my skin crawl. I can 'cope' with a woodlouse infested shed but show me an earwig....nay just mention the 'E' of earwig and I'm gone. 
These packs of Dahlias were in the doorway of The Range, screaming at me, like the sweets section at the checkouts,...'BUY US!!!! BUY US!!!!'
I caved in, but will grow them in a cut-flower bed up the allotment in the hope that by the time I've walked home, any critters would have been shaken out.
Til next time...don't have nightmares.

Friday, 18 January 2019

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year 2019!
If you're a regular stalker of yee olde TGBJ blog then it's good to see you again.
If you're a new follower or just passing thru', then welcome aboard 😃

Towards the end of 2016, I put my name down for an allotment just around the corner from our house. I prepared myself for a long wait, but then last summer the opportunity to be a 'Co-Worker' on Plot 38b (first photo) came up so I jumped at the opportunity to help somebody with their patch of heaven.

As some areas were cleared I was able to use a few patches to try growing my own bits so I had a go at Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Cabbages, Carrots and a veg' I'd never heard of, Kohlrabi.
The cabbages, that we've been eating as spring greens, have been a huge success. The leeks grew brilliantly but then got hit with a horrid maggoty creature and it all had to be pulled up & discarded. I forgot to thin the carrots so they were a bit spindly but still tasted good. The Kohlrabi was delicious and dead easy to grow plus it didn't attract any bugs. If you've not tried it before, you can eat it raw as a salad crop (which we did and it tastes like a mild 'cucumbery radish' & is really lovely with a sour cream dip) or you can use it like a cabbage, which we are yet to try.

The parsnips were amazing, albeit a bit wrinkly. The Kale looks majestic but it's been hit with whitefly who, because of the mild weather we've had this winter, have not been killed off and have laid eggs on a lot of the lower leaves. You can't wash them off...they're stuck on tight. Somebody suggested leaving them to soak in salt water but that didn't work. If anyone has any suggestions for next year then please let me know. That said, there are still lots of good, untouched leaves and boy do they taste good. Much, much tastier than shop bought and of course totally chemical free.

Fast forward to this week and my name finally came to the top of the list and I am now the proud owner of Plot 38a. The previous carer has left it in fabulous condition...I am so grateful to him. It's all ready for planting as soon as the weather lifts. I've been on the scavenge for lengths of old wood for the past couple of days to make raised beds and have been busy with a sledge hammer and crowbar, removing nails and old screws. 
Very excited about this new adventure. 

Meanwhile, back at Tidy Garden's HQ, I've been tidying out the greenhouse and preparing space for growing allotment seedlings. 3 mice have been living in it over the past year, treating it like a 5* hotel...pinching my gloves, ball of string and bits of cardboard. I was happy to have them scuttling about but then the little buggers ate all of my autumn sown seedlings and winter lettuces so I bought a humane trap, caught 'em and rehomed them in a field up the road. Hopefully they don't have homing instincts.

In order not to stand out up the allotment, Mr TG bought me this very discreet wheelbarrow for Christmas. Somehow I think I'm gonna be a laughing stock but hey-ho! 
Why be dull...lol.
That's it for now....lots to do, will be back soon.
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